Modi as PM: whose gain?

While travelling in a taxi in Mumbai, I broached the hot topic of discussion these days, ‘Modi as BJP’s prime ministerial face’. The taxi driver seemed a bit unsure about its overall outcome on BJP’s fortunes but was sure about his own vote going to Modi.

“If he has developed Gujarat, he will develop India also,” was his reason for supporting him. He is one voice from development starved India.

Then why are you so unsure about BJP forming the government? The answer in one word was ‘Muslims’. They will vote with a vengeance to defeat him unlike Gujarat where they either supported him or stayed back home out of fear of vendetta.

I sometimes wonder the impact the Rahul Gandhi versus Narendra Modi debate will have on the impending elections. Some opine the country in a way would directly elect its premier rising above narrow considerations of caste and regional issues.

Not a bad idea as India would know whether they prefer a ‘young politician’ with no performance to showcase or a ‘veteran with a development face’ who also carries a communal tag along.

Somehow I intend to go with this idea of ‘direct election of the country’s prime minister’, though there are counter arguments like the candidature of the two powerful leaders may also fail to cut through the hold of Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata and Jaylalitha in Tamil Nadu.

Secondly, Rahul will not face any dissent in the UPA , Narendra Modi may find the going tough not only in the NDA but within the BJP also.

The acceptability factor will be drummed against him. It’s quite probable that JD(U) will walk out of the alliance.

But then he may win the support from three powerful women — Jaylalitha, Mamata and Mayawati to stall the UPA from forming the government, though the BSP high command keeps the options open of supporting the party coming to power.

The fact is neither the BJP nor the Congress is confident of winning the 2014 elections and thus it is too early to talk about ‘kaun banega pradhan mantri’.

My only fear is that this Narendra Modi versus Rahul Gandhi fight will divide India into two – something which no Indian would want. Can’t say about the politicians!

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